STEVE Phillips, the goalkeeper who played his last Football League match for Crewe Alexandra five years ago, could have a key role as Darren Way lines up the squad that he is desperate to get into the promotion race in League Two next season.
Phillips, born in Bath and a regular in the Bristol City side until the arrival of Gary Johnson at Ashton Gate, will celebrate his 40th birthday the Sunday after the season ends and has no burning desire to play in the League for Yeovil.
However, with young Jonny Maddison the only fit keeper on the Glovers books at the moment, Phillips knows that a call up from the bench is always a possibility.
Boss Way praises the veteran stopper for the work he has done since coming into Huish Park comparatively recently as goalkeeping coach. “I am impressed with his knowledge and the way he teaches things like angles,” said the manager. “I shall certainly be calling on him as I line up the squad for next season”.
The role of goalkeeper was one that was not causing Way any trouble earlier in the season.
Artur Krysiak had made 41 League appearances last season and was an ever-present this term until February, keeping young Maddison pinned to the substitutes’ bench and putting himself in line to be crowned the Glovers’ ‘Player of the Year’.
But a cruciate knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the season, prompting the manager to head to Kent to sign 36-year-old Stuart Nelson, who had been freed after a long spell at Gillingham.
In five appearances he proved the ideal man for the job, until the ill-fated trip to Swindon where he fractured a wrist that has now sidelined him, leaving Maddison as the only replacement, apart from Phillips.
“I have to put a lot of thought into next season,” Way admitted. “Any manager would like to have both Artur and Stuart on the books and let them fight for who has the jersey, and there is always the future of Jonny Maddison to consider.
“I will have to talk to all three of them. As for Stuart Nelson there are added complications.
“He lives in Kent and has two lovely kids and a wife who is an air hostess. I like him and I know he likes the situation down here, but there is no way he could completely uproot in his position and move to Somerset.
“What we have learned is that he was a great signing in the time he was here.”